Toyota’s High-tech Moon Rover
Plenty of automakers make off-road vehicles. Toyota is looking to make one for off-world use. The carmaker announced Tuesday that it is teaming up with Japan’s national space agency to develop and build a moon rover that future astronauts will use to explore the lunar surface.
Unlike the trio of bare-bones NASA rovers that Apollo astronauts steered across the lunar surface in the 1970s, the proposed rover will have an enclosed, pressurized cabin. In artist renderings, the vehicle looks a bit like a big off-world SUV.
“Manned, pressurized rovers will be an important element supporting human lunar exploration, which we envision will take place in the 2030s,” Koichi Wakata, vice-president of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), said in a written statement. He said the space agency aims to launch the new rover in 2029.
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By Denise Chow, MACH NBC News – Photo JAXA